Honor In The Aeneid

1057 Words5 Pages
"The Aeneid both constructs a world and articulates an unresolved set of problems" - said by Philip Hardie in the introduction of the book Aeneid translated by Robert Fitzgerald. One of the problematic theme lies in the book is the Notion of duty itself and how it is related with the sense of honor. The figure of Greek and Roman heroes had their own specific ideals. It is often seen from most of the epics and poems , that the principle domain of 'polis ' in the society is held often by Men. However, the heroes who are not immortal like gods must suffer and endure the universal conditions of that period of time. Throughout his lifetime, he is in between constant strife between private and public desires. They do not foresee what is in…show more content…
In Book 6, his visits to the underground make him realized the death of Dido which is partially because of him and tells her that he left her against his will. As the gods ' commands droves him against his will, his visit to underworld is one of the significant importance because he is shown the view of the future through his father Anchises who act as a messenger from god. Similarly, the shield of Aeneas made by Vulcan at the end of Book 8 carries a metaphorical symbol of taking on his shoulder the responsibility of the future and make it real. It is ironical that throughout the twelve books, there are few instances that Aeneas shown to be in grief and his refusal to be a part of God 's will. However, he never expresses it as shown in book 8- "Aeneas, heartsick at the woe of war." Because as a hero/leader, his ideal duty is to encourage and comfort his fellowmen and soldiers. He has to feign hope and suppress his inner anguish. In order to build a new civilization in Italy, he can be regarded as a " man of Roman ideal" which is already prophesied. As his journey progresses, he is portrayed as a man who must learn to dominate his passions and will to supplicate himself to a larger duty given to him. He must learn to embrace a 'sense of duty ' to gods, father and his son, and for the
Open Document